PushUps, Planks, and Crossfit!

While I didn’t necessarily set a specific New Year’s Resolution this year, fitness is still a major focus for me. I’m in the gym 4-5 days per week, and usually focus on high-rep lifting. That won’t change, as I really love my lifting routine. However, I’m also going to be aiming to strengthen two of my problem areas/exercises: pushups and core strength.

No “Girl” Pushups

 

This time last year, I was physically incapable of doing a single proper-form pushup. Not one. I can now do 5, which is a pretty big deal for me. My chest strength has always been weak though, and that needs to change. I’m addressing that problem with a little January challenge that I’ve set for myself using this Workout Calendar. It’ll have me doing a gradually increasing number of Pushups and Squats every morning, throughout the month. The Squats obviously won’t do much for my chest, but I needed something to break up Pushup sets, and figured you can never do too many squats! I start at two sets of 12 Squats and 5 Pushups, and work my way to (hopefully) three sets of 50 Squats and 30 Pushups. Looking at that last day from where I currently stand, it seems overly ambitious. Nevertheless, I’m curious to see how far I can get!

The photos claiming to exhibit the benefits of drinking 3 litres of water a day.

I’ve included little water reminders on that calendar, as I’ve always been awful about allowing myself to dehydrate. I’m aiming to drink about 3 litres of water a day. I read an interesting article on a woman who experimented with increasing her water intake to 3 litres a day, and while the findings aren’t exactly scientific, and the photos may very well be shopped, I figure it can’t hurt.

A friend of mine has also just shared a 30-day Plank Challenge post on Facebook, which I may add to my routine. It starts with a 20 second Plank on Day 1, and ends the month with a 4.5 minute plank. Again, seems pretty ambitious when you’re looking at it from Day 1, but any mountain looks steep when you’re staring at it from the valley.

Finally, to round out my January fitness plan, I purchased myself a Groupon for a few semi-private session of Crossfit at my local Hybrid Athletics gym. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for ages, but just couldn’t afford it. I have a very competitive personality, and I think that environment could be good for me. I’m curious to see how it goes!

Feel free to print off and use that calendar I put together, and leave me a comment with your fitness goals for January!

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Muscular Women Are Gross

“Muscular women are gross”. That seems to be the consensus of average women when they see a picture of a female bodybuilder. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to workout until my traps bulge or my biceps don’t fit into my shirt sleeves, but there’s a two-fold reason for that:

  1. It’s not an image I’m striving for, and I don’t think it would suit me. Just as I don’t think blue hair or facial piercings would suit me.  But, to each their own!
  2. I’ve only just taught myself enough dedication to get my ass into the gym regularly. I don’t have NEARLY the willpower to push myself into a bodybuilder’s physique. That requires a very strict diet and an excruciatingly rigorous workout routine (and sometimes often, steroids). I just don’t have that in me!

However, my inability and lack of desire to achieve that physique is not a ticket to condemn those who do! Yet that seems to be the norm. Whenever I see a picture of an especially muscular women, it doesn’t take much to find comments along the lines of “that’s gross”, “ew she looks like a dude”, and “is that even a woman???”. Why?? Women so quick to fly their feminism flag when someone belittles a woman for being overweight, but the same people are content to hound a fellow lady who happens to like being muscular. How does this logic make sense? Take a look at this:

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I intentionally didn’t blur names. One, these comments were posted on a public page and are therefore public already, and two, if Miss Havlen thought this was okay to post publicly, she damn well better be prepared to stand up for it.

Miss Havlena both claims that girls shouldn’t feel the need to “give into society standards” of what women should be, while at the same time claiming that the athlete in question is “not a woman” because she doesn’t look the way women traditionally do… Could she be any more contradictory?? What defines what a woman “should” look like, but the very societal standards she’s supposedly fighting against? It’s so idiotic, it actually hurts to think about it. Let’s move on.

If you don’t know who Dana Lynn Bailey (DLB) is, she’s a female bodybuilder and co-owner of a popular fitness clothing line called Flag Nor Fail. Furthermore, she was the winner of the first ever, IFBB Women’s Physique competition in 2013. She’s an incredible athlete, but what many of her critics seem to forget, is that she’s also a woman. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think all women want to be beautiful- whatever their definition of “beautiful” happens to be. I think all women have felt insecure about one thing or another at some point, but to have someone put you down for something you’ve genuinely poured your heart into and are (justifiably) proud of, is probably the worst. Think of whatever skill or feature you’re really proud of, and imagine having scores of people tell you that you’re wrong- that thing is actually your worst feature and you’re disgusting because of it. Would that not hit right to the feels? This brings me to the Facebook post that inspired this whole discussion:

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First, a giant kudos to Dana’s husband, Rob Bailey. Any woman would be lucky to have a man that’s so supportive! We all want to know that someone has our back.

Take a look at the comment beneath the photo. “is that a woman?” How heartbreaking must that be for DLB? I’m sure she gets it all the time, but is that the kind of thing that you can ever really just ignore? She’s got to feel it.  Bravo to her amazing husband for posting this, drawing attention to the bullies, and making everyone think about how they treat others. No, this isn’t a physique I want, or even a physique that I find attractive. But DLB is a woman with feelings, and she’s someones wife, and she’s someone’s daughter. The next time you feel inclined to comment on how “gross” a muscular woman is, think about that.